Lithuania Warned Over Providing Mobile Location of Emergency Callers
Published on: 26th Jun 2009
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
The European Commission has sent a formal warning to Lithuania calling on it to ensure that the location of people calling the single European emergency number 112 from their mobile phones is made available to emergency services. Lithuania could be fined if the case proceeds to the European Court of Justice again.
"Knowing the location of people that need urgent help is the key to the effective functioning of Europe's single emergency number 112," said EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding. "In most Member States, we can be sure that emergency teams will find people in emergencies even if they don't know their address. There is no reason why Lithuania cannot implement the same vital service which can save lives of its citizens. As guardian of the EU Treaties, the European Commission has to pursue the infringement proceeding against Lithuania to ensure that the European Court of Justice judgement is followed."
Last September, the original infringement procedure, launched by the Commission in 2006, resulted in the European Court of Justice ruling that, contrary to its obligations under EU law, Lithuania has not ensured that the location of people dialing the single European emergency number 112 is made available to authorities handling these calls. Caller location information is still not available to emergency services for calls made to 112 from mobile phones throughout Lithuania, except in the capital Vilnius and the surrounding area.
The European Commission noted today that Lithuanian authorities are taking steps to ensure that ambulance, police, firefighters and other emergency services know the location of people seeking help via 112. However, it called on the Lithuanian government to accelerate the pace of implementation of caller location information for all calls to 112 from both mobile and fixed lines throughout the whole country.